Wednesday 17 October 2012

Parents' Weekend. It's an American thing.

So this weekend is Parents' Weekend at the Queenager's university. That's right. It's an American thing and it's huge. Most colleges and universities have them, although sometimes they're called "Family Weekends. They will lay on a variety of events to entertain us, including big bands playing at night and activities for younger siblings too. And of course, we get to see what all that money is doing.

If you look on many US college web sites, there's a separate page for Parents of students. Most colleges are big into communicating with the parents. As soon as your kid accepts the offer, the e-mail start rolling in. Although I have no doubt the colleges want you to know what you're paying for, in most cases what they really want is a financial donation. Fair enough - someone's got to pay the bills.

Here's an example of one parent page -

"We understand the vital role parents play in the college experience, and we want to partner with you to ensure your student's success at ----. In addition to communicating your needs and concerns to University administration, we are here to educate you about student development and appropriate ways to help your college student become an independent and involved citizen."

And another -

"Welcome to the- State University Family and the Office of Parent Services. College is a very stressful time in the life of a student, but through the combined effort of family and university, this endeavor can be very successful."

Yeah, you don't just put them on a plane or train any more.

Last year we all went, but flights plus three nights in a hotel can get a little expensive, plus, the novelty probably wears off for 17 and 9 year old boys. So this year it's just me, the Queenager ......and grandma. Oh yes, she's flying over from England and we're going to do a long weekend of stalking the student!

Will report back!


  1. What a very 'American' experience for Grandma-enjoy! DC should be gorgeous about now!

  2. Wow, I would have hated my parents to turn up for a weekend of uni fun when I was there. I sought to break free, not have them there poking their noses in!

  3. How wonderful that Grandma is flying over. It will be a wonderful experience.
    Hope you all have a pleasant time visiting the college that the Queenager goes to. .
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. It would have been a totally bizarre concept in my student days. Have fun!

  5. Have fun! And you're right -- it's all about getting parents to loosen up the purse strings even more. ;-)

  6. Don't have those in Canada, or at least the universities that the kids went too. I agree though, it's to make sure the parents keep doling out the cash.

    Dh still has a t-shirt that says:

    "My daughter and all my money go to the University of Waterloo!""

    Oh, those were the days!!


  7. How...interesting! So when are parents meant to let go? Next, the big recruiters will be asking parents permission to interview college grads... ;)

    Saying all that, I wouldn't say no if the uni my daughter eventually goes to starts the same tradition!


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